| Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Energy is an eternal delight, and he who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence. " William Blake

As I was watching Neeya Nana - a Tamil talk show on Star Vijay TV. I could not help but relate that to the Matrix  - which I have watched more than 10 times (literally)!!

Getting back to Neeya Nana - this weeks topic was - why do we (current generation of Indians) break up ( from a relationship)? It was a very insightful and interesting topic to understand the mindset of young adults in India for me. As I was watching it, I pondered about our idea of our thoughts and our sense of who we are. And I just can't not think of what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.”  In the first few scenes of Matrix, Morpheus describes the "real" world as "the desert of the real". By this, he means that there is nothing real about the real world at all, that everything is a copy of a copy with no original, no ultimate underlying reality. There is no intrinsic meaning outside of what we give it, that the world is essentially meaningless and machine-like, chugging along mindlessly in its own self-perpetuating elaborations. No choice, just action and reaction. This is, as I understand it, pretty much straight-up Postmodernism.

 "There is nothing new under the sun." - Jean Baudrillard

A simple understanding how the geology of the planet is continuously recycling itself will revel. There is no such thing as an "original" continent. The entire crust has been thrust up and dragged back down into the earth's interior more times than anyone can count. It's like a boiling stew. Every rock, every bit of sand, every molecule of water has been broken apart and reassembled countless times. There is literally nothing new, nor, for that matter, original. Hence, the idea that Life has an Ultimate Meaning does not hold . This has meaning relative to that, and this has purpose in the context of that, but this and that together have no external context in which to take measure. Life at once cannot be contained in meaning. This is not the same as saying life is meaningless, because to say "meaningless" is to assign negative meaning. It is more accurate to say that it is inherently free of either meaning, or absence of meaning.

Wachowski Brothers (the creators of The Matrix Trilogy) are telling us that we exist in a swirl that has neither beginning nor end. It operates on many different levels, but its inherent limitations are the same regardless of which level you take it on. What we call "the world" is nothing more than a machine. It has rules, but no purpose. It isn't "going anywhere". It just is, and it is perfectly happy to be what it is. But we on the other hand fail to realize it, letting emotions clog our understanding of reality. It seems; this is the ultimate cosmic purpose, no matter how gloriously conceived, is a nightmare scenario where everything is bound, subordinated, and ultimately reduced to that purpose alone. It is the absolutizing of relative and contingent purpose, the fraction consuming the whole. 

Poetically speaking, all I can see is endless free-play. This free-play has pattern and rhythm that in human experience has a basic feeling tone of ever-rising, or Joy. There is superabundance. As William Blake said "Energy is eternal delight". There is within given relationships, such as "me and my world", deeply valued meanings, but if these meanings becomes absolutized and fixed, the unconditioned joy giving rise to the whole picture goes into eclipse.  The world in eclipse is an endless reaching for lost Joy, one compensation after another.

It's the "under the sun" part of the "nothing new" clause that becomes all important at this point. You'll recall that Neo's name in the Matrix is Thomas Anderson. The name Anderson comes from the Greek andros, or man. This makes Neo the "Son of Man" - it is the search in us that constitutes our true identity. And when we identify with it, we see the world as it is, and that truth gives us the freedom to make our own choices, instead of being slaves to the Law of Cause and Effect. The truth sets us free. It delivers us from the Wheel of Karma, from samsara. Instead of "through a glass darkly", we now see the world face to face. "When the doors of perception are cleansed, we shall see the world as it is...infinite." - William Blake


Post a Comment

Next Prev